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   Barry Wellman

    A vision is just a vision if it's only in your head
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   NETWORKED: The New Social Operating System  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman

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Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:03:33 +0000
From: "[utf-8] Complexity Digest" <[log in to unmask]>
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Subject: [utf-8] Latest Complexity Digest Posts

Learn about the latest and greatest related to complex systems research. More at

Dendrology: The community of trees

Trees are networkers. Far from the solitary splendour of the ancient old 
stager, it turns out that trees communicate with one another through their 
roots. Underground fungi ˙˙ mycorrhizae associated with the root network 
˙˙ form a sort of subterranean internet that connects trees, passing 
messages and even nourishment between neighbours. Nor do trees passively 
tolerate the onslaught of insects on their tasty young leaves. Chemical 
signals carried on the breeze from infested trees cause forest fellows to 
crank up their own chemical armouries. It's not a case of every tree for 
itself: the forest can behave as a single entity when it yields a great 
crop of acorns or beechnuts, or lies fallow for a year. Trees share a 
common response to weather and nourishment.

Dendrology: The community of trees
Richard Fortey
Nature 537, 306 (15 September 2016) doi:10.1038/537306a

Source: (

Symmetric States Requiring System Asymmetry

    Spontaneous synchronization has long served as a paradigm for behavioral uniformity that can emerge from interactions in complex systems. When the interacting entities are identical and their coupling patterns are also identical, the complete synchronization of the entire network is the state inheriting the system symmetry. As in other systems subject to symmetry breaking, such symmetric states are not always stable. Here we report on the discovery of the converse of symmetry breaking--the scenario in which complete synchronization is not stable for identically-coupled identical oscillators but becomes stable when, and only when, the oscillator parameters are judiciously tuned to nonidentical values, thereby breaking the system symmetry to preserve the state symmetry. Aside from demonstrating that diversity can facilitate and even be required for uniformity and consensus, this suggests a mechanism for convergent forms of pattern formation in which initially asymmetric
patterns evolve into symmetric ones.

Symmetric States Requiring System Asymmetry
Takashi Nishikawa, Adilson E. Motter

Source: (

Compression and the origins of Zipf˙˙s law for word frequencies

    Here we sketch a new derivation of Zipf's law for word frequencies 
based on optimal coding. The structure of the derivation is reminiscent of 
Mandelbrot's random typing model but it has multiple advantages over 
random typing: (1) it starts from realistic cognitive pressures, (2) it 
does not require fine tuning of parameters, and (3) it sheds light on the 
origins of other statistical laws of language and thus can lead to a 
compact theory of linguistic laws. Our findings suggest that the 
recurrence of Zipf's law in human languages could originate from pressure 
for easy and fast communication.

Compression and the origins of Zipf's law for word frequencies
Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho


Source: (

An efficient system to fund science: from proposal review to peer-to-peer distributions

This paper presents a novel model of science funding that exploits the 
wisdom of the scientific crowd. Each researcher receives an equal, 
unconditional part of all available science funding on a yearly basis, but 
is required to individually donate to other scientists a given fraction of 
all they receive. Science funding thus moves from one scientist to the 
next in such a way that scientists who receive many donations must also 
redistribute the most. As the funding circulates through the scientific 
community it is mathematically expected to converge on a funding 
distribution favored by the entire scientific community. This is achieved 
without any proposal submissions or reviews. The model furthermore funds 
scientists instead of projects, reducing much of the overhead and bias of 
the present grant peer review system. Model validation using large-scale 
citation data and funding records over the past 20 years show that the 
proposed model could yield funding distributions that are similar to those 
of the NSF and NIH, and the model could potentially be more fair and more 
equitable. We discuss possible extensions of this approach as well as 
science policy implications.

An efficient system to fund science: from proposal review to peer-to-peer distributions

Johan Bollen, David Crandall, Damion Junk, Ying Ding, Katy Börner

Scientometrics (2016). doi:10.1007/s11192-016-2110-3

Source: (

NetMob 2017


Fifth conference on the
Analysis of Mobile Phone Datasets

NetMob is the primary conference in the analysis of mobile phone datasets in social, urban, societal and industrial problems.

Vodafone Theatre (Milan, Italy)
April 5-7, 2017

Source: (

DPG Spring Meeting, Physics of Socio-Economic Systems Division

Source: (

MuST10: Causation and Complexity

Causation and Complexity is the tenth MuST conference, an international collaborative conference series with a distinctive focus on philosophical issues in the sciences that can be addressed using exact reasoning and which have some potential policy relevance. MuST conferences bring together philosophers and scientists to explore these topics.

Keynote speakers
˙˙ Professor Stuart Kauffman
˙˙ Professor Anne-Marie Grisogono
˙˙ Professor Kevin Korb

March 1-3 2017 ˙˙The University of Sydney

Source: (

Sponsored by the Complex Systems Society.
Founding Editor: Gottfried Mayer.
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Gershenson.

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